Thursday, 1 May 2008

Rout and About With Gordon

Ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown was reported to be in hiding today, as it emerged that the Labour Party had lost every single seat it held in councils across England and Wales.

A baying mob of defeated councillors stormed the gates of Downing Street, armed with torches, assault rifles and carving knives. As the enraged crowd smashed down the door of number 11, the hapless Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling tried to escape by climbing across the rooftops, but was brought down by a well-aimed stone and torn to pieces as he begged for mercy. The angry hordes then set fire to Number Ten after discovering that Gordon Brown had fled the capital before the final election results were announced.

Ports, harbours and private airfields were on a maximum security alert for the fugitive PM, while members of the public were warned to run and call the police if approached by a desperate, haggard Scotsman demanding money. The authorities have just released an e-fit picture of Mr Brown, showing the twisted, grimacing face of a reckless desperado.

Elsewhere, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Plaid Cymru, the English National Opera, Shining Path, the State Law and Order Reform Committee, the Peronists and the Chuckle Brothers were all celebrating their landslide victories in town halls up and down the land.

Meanwhile, in London, mayoral candidates Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson and the other one – you know, whatsisname - were left bemused and pondering a turnout of zero, with Londoners reported to be catatonically bored by the blanket coverage of the city’s election race.

As the leaderless nation faced an unprecedented constitutional crisis, Tony Blair was said to be ready to offer his services in his country’s hour of need. The Queen’s response has not yet been released, and – according to Palace officials - nor is it likely to be.

Grand News Cockup IV

Embarrassed news editors have had to admit that the media furore over the alleged stabbing in London of a customer queuing to buy the latest must-have console game Grand Theft Auto IV was grossly misreported.

The man, it turned out, had not pre-ordered the game, was not in the 100-strong queue outside Croydon’s Gamestation, and was in fact attacked a quarter of a mile away outside a train station.

Further enquiries revealed that there is in fact no such game as Grand Theft Auto IV, and nor is there any such thing as responsible journalism.

Pain in the Chalfonts

Young pupils at a comprehensive school in Buckinghamshire are receiving lessons from sixth-formers, it has emerged.

A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families said the school’s unusual arrangements were not illegal, although it was something the government was not keen to encourage.

Chalfonts Community College principal Sue Tanner defended the move, saying that “the quality of some of the supply teachers that come here is less than we would expect.”

At £5 per hour, the pay the sixth-formers get is also rather less than supply teachers would expect - but the school claimed that they knew the ways of the school better than temporary staff coming in from outside.

“We’m a bit funny round ‘ere,” said one A-level student as he tied a year 7 pupil to an iron frame. “They supply teachers, ‘em comes in wi’ their fancy city ways, them dun’t unnerstan’ us folk. Them sees us burnin’ a gurt big wicker man an’ comes to all sorts o’ wrong-‘eaded conclusions. But it’s just an ‘armless bit o’ fun. Same wi’ the school hunt. Them outsiders tries to stop us, see - oh yuss. But ‘em dun’t get far - oh no.”

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

All Eyes on London (as usual)

All over Britain, people will be holding their breath for the result of the London mayoral election which is taking place today, as a test of Gordon Brown’s leadership.

Pundits are saying that if Ken Livingstone is re-elected, the Labour Party will be reassured that their current 21-year low in the opinion polls is only a temporary blip from which they can recover before the next general election. However, if Boris Johnson should become mayor, the Prime Minister will almost certainly be beheaded by enraged party activists and his severed head paraded on a spike.

Unconfirmed reports say that some straw-sucking provincials in the remote wastelands beyond the M25 are also voting, after their primitive fashion, for some 4000+ unimportant local council seats. However, after consulting ancient navigators’ charts and seeing vast unexplored wildernesses marked ‘Here be yokels’, media journalists dismissed the rumours of the existence of a world outside the capital as the ravings of feeble minds unhinged by rum and cider, and focused all their attention on Ken and Boris.

Ling Ling, The Panda's Dead

Ling Ling, the only giant panda owned by Japan, has died at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo at the ripe old age of 22.

“He died peacefully. I think he lived a full life,” said keeper Motoyasu Ida. “In human terms, he climbed several of the world’s tallest mountains, swam with sharks and dolphins in a tropical paradise lagoon, discovered a cure for cancer, became an astronaut, starred in some of the world’s biggest box-office hits, scored the winning goals in two world cup finals and married a string of beautiful models. In panda terms, admittedly, he sat on his fat dopey arse and chewed bamboo every day for 22 years, but then that was his idea of a full life. Panda steak, anyone?”

Rumours that Ling Ling’s death may not have been solely due to advancing years and failing health were fuelled by unconfirmed sightings of a harpoon gun mounted on a flatbed truck speeding away from the zoo in the dead of night.

Hob it

Lord of the Rings fans around the world of Middle Earth sang tedious songs of delight as it was announced that Sir Ian McKellen is to reprise his role as Gandalf in the two forthcoming Hobbit movies.

The films - to be made back-to-back in New Zealand - will be directed by Mexican Guillermo del Toro and are scheduled to be released in 2010 and 2011, reckoned in the years of men.

Whilst the first film will follow Tolkien’s storyline from The Hobbit, the second is reported to feature an original plot set in the 60 years between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings. Provisionally entitled ‘Bilbo – The Wilderness Years’, it is likely to focus on how a young, innocent hobbit who found fame and fortune too early in life spiralled down into a tragic, pipeweed-fuelled personal hell, spending vast sums of money on call-elves and dragon-racing - before finally finding redemption by saving his village from evil property-speculating dwarves bent on driving a toll-road through the shire, or possibly undead trolls illegally prospecting for sheep droppings.

Fuel Me Once, Shame On You

Oil companies Shell and BP sparked consumer outrage yesterday, as they announced massive rises in first-quarter profits at a time when pump prices were at an all-time high.

Royal Dutch Shell’s profits rose by 12% to a record $7.8bn, while those of rival BP rose by 48%, to $6.6bn. Together, the firms beat analysts’ predictions by over $1bn.

As oil prices rose to almost $120 a barrel, and with Britain suffering price hikes and fuel shortages as a result of the Grangemouth refinery strike, hard-hit consumers were quick to criticise the oil giants.

However, the companies were at pains to point out that they were making little or no profit from forecourt sales.

“We have made most of this money from our exploration subsidiaries,” said a spokesman. “And it’s very handy that they are subsidiaries, because that way we are conveniently barred under competition law from using those profits to subsidise our retail operations. You should also remember that there are many other factors which, regrettably, prevent us from selling petrol and diesel at a reasonable price. You should also take into account the disputed poll result in Zimbabwe, the end of the Japanese whaling season, the forthcoming Olympics, Alistair Darling’s unnatural eyebrows, solar wind activity and Ronaldo’s transvestite prostitution shame.”

The chairmen of the two companies then closed the press conference with high fives before retiring for lunch at the exclusive 68 Royal Hospital Road restaurant, where they used owner Gordon Ramsay as a footrest.

Line Up, Sell Out

The final line-up for this summer’s Glastonbury Festival was officially announced yesterday, after being leaked on an internet forum.

Festival organisers have already been criticised for featuring hip-hop artist Jay-Z as a headline act, in an attempt to broaden the appeal of the festival. Critics say this has disappointed traditional festival fans and led to poor ticket sales.

Organiser Emily Eavis, however, was upbeat: “We are pleased to announce an even more diverse range of talent to appeal to all ages and tastes,” she said, “Particularly older people, who we hear have more disposable income, and cloth ears. So I’m pleased to say that we will be showcasing sets from Jean Michel Jarre, Hall & Oates, The Bay City Rollers, the Crazy Frog, a freshly-neutered Aled Jones, Richard Clayderman, Tommy Steele, Dame Vera Lynn, Glenn Miller – who has come out of hiding after 64 years to appear on the Pyramid Stage – and the ghost of Marie Lloyd, who will be singing a medley of music-hall favourites. If this doesn’t confirm Glastonbury 2008 as the biggest sell-out of all time, I don’t know what will.”

“Oh, and we’ve got Mud,” she added. “They’ll be singing their famous hit, ‘Trench Feet’.”

Immigrants Go Home

Finally, a study by the Institute for Public Policy Research shows that although over one million Eastern Europeans have come to the UK since 2004, half of them have already gone back home.

One factor behind the exodus is the strength of the Polish zloty against the pound, which is now worth only 4.8 zlotys compared to 7 four years ago.

“Goodbye, Britain,” said one Polish builder who was packing his tools and heading for home. “I’ll be better off in Poland. 45 years of communist mismanagement turned our country into a bankrupt police state full of demoralised, disenfranchised workers. It‘s only taken your Gordon Brown and Tony Blair 11 years.”

Monday, 28 April 2008

Supermarket Sweep Under The Carpet

The Office of Fair Trading is reported to be jubilant on completing Britain’s most successful Supermarket Sweep, after running round the head offices of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrison and filling up their enormous trolley with groceries, health and beauty products and files.

Supermarket bosses were all false grins and forced smiles as the OFT proudly displayed its haul of goods from companies alleged to be colluding with the leading retailers in illegal price-fixing. Products from companies ranging from Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever and Mars were top of the OFT’s shopping list.

Asda and Morrisons gritted their teeth and said they were “happy to assist” the OFT in its madcap rush through their head offices, while Sainsbury’s and Tesco said they were co-operating with requests for information.

Only a few days ago, the OFT completed a gruelling warm-up exercise, concentrating on cigarettes which it claimed were subject to a price-fixing cartel.

Members of the public were on the edge of their seats watching the watchdog’s inspired performance.

“I’d like to see the OFT do this every week,” said one. “It’s been a long time since anybody really cleaned up in the supermarkets.”

Election Correction

The government has moved swiftly to downplay the Joseph Rowntree Trust’s claims that Britain’s electoral registration systems fall short of international standards and are close to “breaking point”. The report called for photo ID to be shown at polling stations, and more robust monitoring of postal and proxy voting.

Justice Minister Bridget Prentice said that ministers were considering changes to the present system in which the heads of households are responsible for completing voter registration forms.

“However, we have already introduced measures to prevent abuse of the system,” she said, “I and my 25 adult children will vote Labour with confidence, and so will both my husbands and all eight of my parents.”

Ska'd For Life

A survey has shown that British manners are worse than they were ten years ago, according to a survey carried out for ITV1’s Tonight With Trevor Macdonald programme.

A third of those questioned believed bad manners were responsible for anti-social behaviour.

“I could Buster Bloodvessel,” said one bald-headed chap, as a passing youth shouted “Lip up, fatty!”

Some, however, believed the causes lay elsewhere.

“It’s complete madness,” said one gentleman to whom we raised our hat in the street. “Just look at all these baggy trousers. Right outside our house, in the middle of our street. It’s not a joke shop.”

Others said that splodgenessabounds in Britain nowadays.

“People used to ask for two pints of lager and a packet of crisps, please,” said a little old lady we helped across a busy road. “But I see in my Radio Times that apparently it’s just two pints of lager and a packet of crisps nowadays. Where’s the courtesy gone? The country’s full of rude boys.”

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Shear Hypocrisy

David Wolf, the leader of the Conservative Pack, has told Britain that he would “stand up” for the sheep.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Grimm Show, Mr Wolf refused to say whether he would reinstate the 10p wool rate if he became prime minister, but said that he would never sanction a budget that “singled out the poor sheep”.

Mr Wolf said he believed that his pack’s current lead in the polls meant that Gordon Fox would delay a general election, adding that the row over the 10p rate was changing the attitudes of the prime minister’s traditional supporters.
”Those sheep have been let down by the crafty foxes, and sheep are the animals I want to stand up for,” he snarled. “What I want to say to sheep like that is that we are there to eat you – whoops, I mean we are there for you.”

The sheep in the street remained unconvinced, however.

“It doesn’t matter who’s in charge of this funny farm,” bleated one. “We always end up getting fleeced.”

Trisha Complains About Voyeuristic Victimisation

Voyeuristic chav-crash TV show host Trisha Goddard has spoken movingly of being ‘ogled’ while in hospital undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

“A downside of being in the public eye is that even if you’re wearing a patient ID and you’re in a hospital department having tests you’re still fair game,” she said. “Who cares that you seem terrified out of your wits? Has this happened to you? Perhaps you saw someone off the telly with her baps in a machine, and shouted ‘Oy Trisha! Awright luv? Corr, nice pair for an old bird!’ Do you feel that a celebrity who thrives on the public humiliation of others deserves a taste of her own medicine? Call 0870 880 55 55 and talk to one of our researchers.”

Caution! Amy Winehouse

Troubled Singer Amy Winehouse has been cautioned for common assault after spending the night in cells at Holborn police station.

The Troubled Singer had agreed to be interviewed, and tottered stroppily into the station of her own accord following the incident, which took place on Wednesday.

The Troubled Singer, whose battle with chart success has overshadowed her drug-taking career, released a statement saying that she was looking forward to continuing her work on new music in the studio, and to new drugs continuing to work on her.